National Assembly restores right-to-die bill and other legislation
Published Thursday, May 22, 2014 1:56PM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, May 22, 2014 8:01PM EDT
The first order of business for the Liberal government in the spring session is restoring a pair of bills that were not passed by the previous Parti Quebecois government.
The government tabled two important pieces of legislation on Thursday: the right-to-die bill that had been shepherded by former PQ minister Veronique Hivon, and the bill to give Montreal the power to create an Inspector General.
The government says Montreal's Inspector General will have the powers requested by Mayor Denis Coderre, but the city council and the borough councils will have the ability to veto decisions made by the Inspector General.
Mayor Coderre announced in February that the position had already been filled by Denis Gallant, a lawyer who gave up his post with the Charbonneau Commission to assume the position.
Gallant’s main task in his five-year non-renewable mandate will be to ensure fairness in the awarding of city contracts.
He will have more power than the auditors and comptrollers general and will be permitted to access the contents of any computer. City employees who refuse to cooperate with his questions will face fines.
The position will have a $5 million annual budget and the power to oversee and stop any contract Gallant feels is fraudulent.
Dying with Dignity
The second major legislation to be restored is the Dying with Dignity bill, which was abruptly cut off when the PQ called the election.
The bill, four years in the making, had already gone through multiple stages including two years of public hearings.
Veronique Hivon had negotiated an all-party agreement when she was social services minister for the PQ, and was dismayed when the bill died so close to completion.
Assisted suicide and euthanasia are against the law in Canada, but the bill, as proposed, would allow a doctor to administer lethal medication to a terminally ill patient if they have the approval of two doctors and fill out a consent form.